SNORKELLING IN ALTEA
The routes have been created so that all the public, not only experienced divers or divers with a diving licence, can get to know the value hidden in our waters, which fortunately are still in very good condition. The Isleta de L’Olla and Mascarat have been chosen due to their environmental richness and conservation. In both places you can see large meadows of Posidonia oceanica, with reefs more than 300 years old. The water is generally calm, crystal clear and transparent. It is an area that is home to a wide marine biodiversity in the biological frameworks it hosts. All our routes are guided by an instructor with an emphasis on fun and safety. The routes last approximately 1 hour and include a FREE photo report that you can download. This activity is suitable for all ages, including children from 10 years old.
ISLETA DE L’OLLA ROUTE
The underwater extension of L’Olla in Altea is part of the protected natural area of the Serra Gelada Natural Park. The rocky platform of the beach, which drops from -3m to -6m, is full of nooks and crannies that shelter small octopuses and balconies that shade the groups of bream.
After putting on our fins, goggles and snorkel – and if necessary a wetsuit or sun protection – we move through the water until we are about 30 or 40 metres from the shore. Here the seabed will have alternated from the initial presence of polished round stones, to the formation of a more or less flat rocky platform, usually covered with small brown and reddish algae, and the colourful Padina pavonica, indicative of the good quality of these seabeds.
We will follow a line parallel to the coast, and in the different environments we will be able to discover numerous species, such as the salps that graze in groups on the posidonia; the castanets that also appear in groups both among the rocks and among the plants; the colourful julias, maidens and fadrís, (more common on hard substrates), and even the fleeting sight of a predator such as the gilthead bream or the dentex, which come close to surprise some small prey.
Continuing towards the coast, the depth gradually decreases, while the lushness of the posidonia meadow increases, hiding fish such as the serrano, and then gives way to another phanerogam, the Cymodocea nodosa. Finally, once we get closer to the coast, we will come across a rocky platform on which we can stand and head back to the starting point.
This small pebble beach is open to the south and is protected by a breakwater on the right and by a mountainous arm on the left. We head towards it and begin the route following its profile. From the beginning, the abundance of Posidonia stands out, although as we move away from the wall, towards the right, the sandy area will appear and immediately the presence of fine leaves of Cymodocea nodosa, which like the Posidonia oceanica is a marine phanerogam, or in other words, a herbaceous plant with a stem, roots, leaves and flowers.
Between the two meadows is a bright sandy area, and if we look closely, we may spot the presence of a pelaya or a small cuttlefish. If we continue towards the wall, the bottom will appear more and more covered with large posidonia plants that are home to countless species such as castanets, salps and thrushes; soon the bottom will begin to change as the increasingly large blocks of stone appear, sometimes covered with stars, and with their thousand hollows they provide shelter for more elusive species such as the octopus, the orange three-tailed bream (Anthias antias) and bream. A truly beautiful walk where you can enjoy the crystal clear waters and fertile seabeds that are home to a good representation of the Mediterranean coastal fleet and fauna.